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Picture by Lucinda MacPherson.
Oh to be in Chiswick, now that August's here

I rather like being in Chiswick in August. It's a bit like the Bomb's gone off and everyone else but us knows and has scarpered, but Those Left Behind are blissfully enjoying the freedom to cycle along near empty roads and get a seat outside riverside pubs, unaware of the mushroom cloud drifting towards us. Make hay while the sun shines, I say.

Old Chiswick

I went on a walking tour of Old Chiswick on Sunday with Hounslow Heritage guide Vivienne Bales. Hounslow Heritage now has nothing to do with Hounslow Council, but Vivienne trained as a guide (a ten week course) 25 years ago when it was a council run initiative with connections to the library and tourism services.

Vivienne herself has a history degree and many years' experience working at the National Archives, so her tour was authoritative as well as informative and entertaining. We started in prehistoric times: apparently hippopotamus and hyena bones have been found in the river here, and moved smartly on to the fishing community which thrived until the Thames became too polluted to support it in Victorian times. It always makes me smile to think that the multi million pound houses on Chiswick Mall are cheek by jowl with Slut's Hole, which has sadly been renamed. When the fishing industry crashed, Chiswick village was a neighbourhood of desperate poverty. It was also a den of iniquity it seems. As well as the occupants for whom Slut's Hole was named, in the eighteenth century there were smugglers who rowed upriver with contraband rum and spirits, looking out for the signal from the fishermen's cottages to pull in to the bank and deliver their cargo. Legend has it the notorious highwayman Dick Turpin had his wedding breakfast at the Old Burlington pub rudely disturbed by the law, causing him to jump out of a window and ride to York to escape.

Vivienne showed us the plaque marking the benefactor who stopped pigs disturbing the graves in the churchyard of St Nicholas church and told us the tale of the baker who lived in Holly House in the late 1700s, who fell out with the vicar and made a point of loading up his horse and cart during services, making as much noise as possible. She gave us the history of the Thorneycroft boatyard and the ferry and showed us the cottages in Pages Yard where a window was bricked up, very probably to avoid the eighteenth century window tax (the origin of the phrase "daylight robbery"). She and her colleague Miriam Broad have many more tales, as they do separate tours of St Nicholas' churchyard and Chiswick Mall, as well as tours of old Brentford and Isleworth. Coming up on 17th & 18th September, Hounslow Heritage are also offering a number of free walks during Open House weekend. Check out what they have to offer here, as Sunday afternoon was £3 and an hour and a half well spent.

New to The Chiswick Calendar Club Card

We’re delighted to add Oxygen Freejumping trampolining park in Acton to the club card scheme. The perfect answer for bored children in the summer holidays is now available to club card holders for 20% off the usual price (£12.50 down to £10). The trampoline park has had rave reviews since it opened a year ago, when Nick Raikes went to see it. Watch the video here.

To take advantage of the club card offer, use the promotional code CHISWICK20 when booking online here or book by phone on 0203 846 1386 and tell the Customer Service team you’re booking through The Chiswick Calendar. Take your card with you when you go.

Here’s the address: Oxygen Freejumping, Unit 15, Vision Industrial Park, Kendal Avenue, London W3 0AF
Children over five can bounce on their own, under-fives can take part with a parent or guardian and there are special Family Bounce sessions for families who like to bounce together. (A family who bounces together does what together? Answers on a post card!)

New offer from Maverick & Wolf

If you’ve ever fancied prescription sunglasses, now’s the time. Designer eyewear specialists Maverick & Wolf are offering 35% off frames and prescription lenses (not just for sunglasses) until the end of August if you buy in their online store here.
To access the offer, use the promotional code CHISWICAL35. If you walk in to their store, opposite Metro Bank on Chiswick High Rd and buy over the counter, the discount will be 20%. The offers are not applicable to Cartier and Dita.

Chiswick House Saw and Sand Festival

The gardens of Chiswick House is the venue for the first London Saw & Sand Festival over the weekend of 9 - 11 September which brings together sculptors who make large scale art works out of huge blocks of wood using chain saws and those who painstakingly mould their creations out of wet sand. Chiswick Calendar club card members are entitled to 10% off the ticket prices.

Watching the sculptors work and seeing a block of wood or a pile of wet sand transformed into an intricate work of art in front of your very eyes will be awesome. Book tickets here.

Can’t keep up with all the club card offers?

Go here to our club card page and have a browse through all the offers and discounts from quality local businesses.

Not got your club card yet?
Email us at  and let us have your address for delivery and we’ll drop a card round to you.

The Chiswick Book Festival

Tickets are now on sale for the Chiswick Book Festival, 15 - 18 September. Book here

Comics Victoria Hislop, Andy Hamilton, Shappi Khorsandi and Mark Watson will be talking about their new novels and Joel Morris and Jason Hazeley, the creators of the phenomenally best-selling ‘How It Works… Ladybird Books for Grown-Ups’ series, will be previewing their latest books due out this autumn. There’s a strong children’s line up, with Cressida Cowell (How to Train your Dragon) and Dame Jacqueline Wilson (many books, including the Tracey Beaker series) talking about their bestsellers and introducing their latest books. Daisy Goodwin, writer of the forthcoming ITV series Victoria starring Jenna Coleman will be talking to Festival Director Torin Douglas about royalty and one of my favourite thriller writers, Charles Cumming will be talking with new author Peter Hanington, whose book ‘A Dying Breed’ has had rave reviews, about spies, news and war and what makes a great thriller.

Local Authors launch party hosted by The Chiswick Calendar

Come to our Local Authors Book Launch party, 7 - 9pm at Waterstones on Wednesday 13 September. Sipsmith will be offering one of their summer cocktails to the first 100 people to arrive and you'll have a chance to meet some of the amazing variety of published authors who live in Chiswick and hear a bit about their books. Entry to this event is free.

What’s on in Chiswick this week

Wednesday 10 August

Tabard Theatre – The Guide to Being Single
7.30 pm. On for just two nights, this new American musical follows unlucky in love twenty-somethings who conclude that the solution to their relationship problems is to stay single.

Watermans cinema
6.30 pm, Stephen Spielberg’s The BFG (PG).
9.00 pm, Danish film The Commune.
Tickets £5.00 only with a Chiswick Calendar club card.

George & Devonshire pub
6.00pm onwards, Sue and Ian Moss celebrate their first year as landlord and lady of the George & Devonshire with party games, jelly shots and free bar food and shots.

4.00 – 11.00 pm, start of the five day Oktoberfest on Acton Green

Fun Fair
12.00 – 7.00 pm, John Parnham Fun Fair, Ravenscourt Park
Hammersmith W6 0UG
Thursday 11 August

4.00 – 11.00 pm, Oktoberfest on Acton Green 

Fun Fair
12.00 – 7.00 pm, John Parnham Fun Fair, Ravenscourt Park
Hammersmith W6 0UG
Friday 12 August

4.00 – 11.00 pm, Oktoberfest on Acton Green

Fun Fair
12.00 – 7.00 pm, John Parnham Fun Fair, Ravenscourt Park
Hammersmith W6 0UG
Saturday 13 August

12.00 – 11.00 pm, Oktoberfest on Acton Green

Fun Fair
12.00 – 7.00 pm, John Parnham Fun Fair, Ravenscourt Park
Hammersmith W6 0UG
Sunday 14 August

12.30 – 7.30 pm, Oktoberfest on Acton Green

Fun Fair
12.00 – 7.00 pm, John Parnham Fun Fair, Ravenscourt Park
Hammersmith W6 0UG

Heads up for next week

Chiswick Pier – Watercolour painting day

10.00 am – 3.00 pm, Wednesday 17 August, Janet Weight-Reed will be holding a workshop for beginners and more experienced painters focussing on birds in their environment. Please call 020 8742 2713 to book a place. Tickets £25 from Chiswick Pier Trust.

Have a good week,
Editor, The Chiswick Calendar
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